Hanging by a Thread

This story explains why scientists are trying to keep the delicate tattered fabric of the world's flora and fauna from unraveling completely.

As an associate professor in Emory’s Department of Environmental Sciences specializing in the disease ecology of primates, Thomas Gillespie and his team of researchers have helped uncover a crisis among our nearest taxonomic neighbors. According to an article coauthored by Gillespie and thirty other experts and published in the journal Science Advances, 75 percent of the world’s five-hundred-plus primate species are declining in population, and a whopping 60 percent face extinction, largely due to human encroachment.

“Yellow fever kills monkeys,” says Gillespie. “When people see that, they think monkeys are the source. But in reality, they are just the sentinels.” Dr. Gillespie is a faculty member in the PBEE program.

Gillespie and his colleagues are exposing the same misconception about primate populations all over the globe.

Click here to view the full story in Emory Magazine.